Alberta powwow dancer wearing T-shirt receives donations for regalia

WATCH ABOVE: Powwows are a celebration of tradition, from the music, to the dancing to what the dancers wear. On young man stood out at an event in Alberta when he started dancing. Sarah Komadina looks at how his community is now helping him to connect to his culture.

At the Sturgeon Lake Traditional Pow Wow, dancers show up in their finest regalia, but one young man stood out to the crowd. William Soto danced in a T-shirt and camouflage pants, with his passion shining through.

It inspired those that were watching to raise more than $700 to go towards his very own regalia.

“I thought no one noticed my dancing until I saw all those people that show their support towards me,” Soto said. “It means a lot to me.”

The sudden fundraiser was started by the actions of Paul Partridge, a traditional singer, dancer and drummer.

“He was just dancing. Dancing like no one was watching,” Partridge said. “But I noticed him.”

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READ MORE: Video of 2-year-old boy dancing at Alberta powwow goes viral: ‘He steals the show everywhere’

“I went up to the announcer booth and donated $10 to the young man that’s dancing without regalia. I said, ‘Can anybody match it?’ And to my surprise, everyone came forward.”

Partridge said regalia can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,500.

“Everybody was just in awe, teared up and it was amazing,” Partridge said.

Some people also donated items they had to Soto.

“(I was given) two grass outfits, one pair of moccasins, and an elder gave me a buffalo head, a bandanna and money to make a bussell and a roach,” Soto said.

READ MORE: Kahnawake Pow Wow kicks off for the 29th year: ‘It brings people together’

“Thank you guys for supporting me,” Soto said.

“I love you guys so much and I will keep dancing for you guys at every powwow that comes by.”

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